/ Motoring

Used cars: when warranties aren’t worth it

Car repair

Would you buy a car that costs 10 times the normal price and which you could drive only on good roads, when the sun is out? No? Yet that’s the equivalent of what thousands do every year when they buy a car warranty.

Many used-car warranties don’t make any sense when you compare what providers are asking you to pay for cover with what you would pay to repair a fault in your car. In our investigation, Which? researchers carried out this comparison using hundreds of real repair costs that Which? members supplied for specific models.

But even if you were willing to pay up to £665 for the comfort of knowing that you would never get a huge bill if the worst happened, you may be disappointed.

Used-car warranty excuses

The excuses of train operators have nothing on the excuses of car-warranty providers eager to avoid paying out: ‘We’re not covering that problem because the part failure was not sudden enough’; ‘you ignored the warning light’; ‘you didn’t ignore the warning light and took it to a garage’; ‘the car got cold because you left it outside in winter’; ‘you bought the warranty two months ago’…

If you’re still keen to get a warranty and are prepared to read the small print to try to understand what you’re buying, you’ll need to know how likely a crankshaft pulley is to fail and how much it costs to repair. And if you know that, you could probably repair it yourself.

There are some warranties that appear to be cheaper and better value than the rest, but in the cases our researchers examined, these carried exclusions meaning you could claim on them once in a blue moon. As with many other poor-value financial products, these warranties depend on small print burying what you actually get for your cash.

Drive past car warranties

My advice is to put your £300 or £400-a-year warranty cost into a separate bank account and draw on it for repairs if you need to. To minimise the need for repairs in the first place, find out which are the most reliable cars in our car reliability survey.

And if you’ve bought a used-car warranty, did you struggle to get your warranty provider to pay out?

Have you ever bought a used-car warranty?

No (80%, 459 Votes)

Yes (20%, 118 Votes)

Total Voters: 577

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Ben Jones says:
28 March 2019

Absolutely shocking.

Dual mass flywheel broke up and wasnt covered under their Platinum Plus warranty.

BMW with 69k miles and full service history.

They sent an independent assessor out who checked and agreed with our garage that it was faulty/failed. Warrantywise still refused to pay.

Dual Mass are known to fail on the 2.0d engine.

I run a fleet of vehicles and am not a green horn.

Don’t waste your money on this company and product.

Buy from a garage that has their own in house warranty.

Shocking customer service also, they don’t return calls or reply to emails.

Take it from me DO NOT waste your money on these people.

Same goes for Handler Protect. They expect me to shell out more than cost of repair just to photograph failing part in gearbox and provide expert report!

Handler Protect agreed to provide Gold Cover Warranty but when faced with a claim after driving the car for only 1,000 miles declined/rejected our claim on 4 occasions. Handler Protect stated (i) “The breakdown was due to a failure that was developing at or developed prior to the time of the Warranty inception”, (ii) The failure was due to age and not a sudden failure, (iii) “The failure was due to burnt or worn out clutch components”.
Despite inviting Handler Protect to examine the vehicle, submitting two independant garage reports which concurred with our “sudden failure diagnosis” and photographs of the failed/broken Dual Mass Flywheel they have completely failed to honour their warranty and engage in meaningful dialogue and make any offer of settlement.

james says:
18 November 2021

absolute scam. Can’t understand how it is allowed. Designed not to pay a penny